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How to tackle recruitment in the face of Brexit

Posted on 8 May, 2017

Jill Whittaker

The ultimate Q&A – what will leaving the EU mean for employment and the pub sector? Jill Whittaker, managing director of HIT Training answers the big questions about what Brexit means for recruitment.

1. Should the pub industry be worried about losing employees post-Brexit? 
“The hospitality sector has always relied on workers from other countries. With the triggering of Article 50, the next couple of years are going to be quite uncertain and we may well find that EU citizens are reluctant to move to the UK. It’s also quite possible that those who do want to make the move or who are already here will be subject to increased restrictions.”
2. What can pubs do to prepare?
“The best way to meet the challenge of Brexit is head on, by up-skilling and cross-skilling your workforce. We have already introduced the Government’s new apprenticeship programmes, which have been designed to meet the individual needs of each employer and to address their specific requirements for competent and productive staff. [British Hospitality Association, The Agenda for 300,000 New Jobs, 2012-13]
“Targeted staff training can add 21 per cent to a business’ bottom line with a seven times payback on apprenticeship investment, according to the Government.”
3. Will there be any unexpected positives?
“The UK hospitality industry is vital for economic growth, especially in uncertain times. It is estimated that 300,000 new jobs will be created by 2020, clearly demonstrating that the industry continues to thrive, yet employers often struggle to recruit and retain the talent they need to push their business to the next level. If we’re not careful the situation will become untenable as the industry is growing faster than positions can be filled.”
4. What about the new apprenticeship levy?
“The term ‘apprentice’ has historically been associated with a young school leaver or a trade specific skills worker but this has all changed. The new apprenticeship scheme has a much broader context and provides pubs with the opportunity to develop their people at all levels within their organisation.
“While the Apprenticeship Levy will be mandatory, it’s up to individual operators if they want to take advantage of its benefits. If they don’t currently have an apprenticeship programme, they don’t have to introduce one but it would seem a waste not to make the most of a fund which can support staff recruitment, retention and development, creating financial efficiencies, improving performance and ultimately helping to drive profits – key factors in a fluctuating economy.”


Interview accredited to Bronya Smolen - Inapub's food writer and multimedia journalist



McMullen’s chose HIT as its sole external provider for Apprenticeships and vocational qualifications in early 2015 and since then we have found them a pleasure to work with.  Their expertise in this sector is superior and they have proven to be a professional and supportive partner who have a passion for learning and development, which matches our own organisation.

Amanda Walden – Training & Recruitment Manager, McMullen's

Encouraging our staff to improve their skills set and supporting them through apprenticeships and training programmes underlines our commitment to help them further develop their own careers. Offering the Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship also gives the Brend Group a point of difference which I’m convinced will help attract new members of staff in the future.

Andrew Mosedale - Group HR Manager, Brend Hotels

Our partnership with HIT has certainly made recruitment much easier in a very difficult labour market and gives us a point of difference in an increasingly competitive environment.  Kew Green has also benefited enormously from well trained, skilled and competent staff who contribute significantly to the ever improving and high levels of customer experience that our guests expect and deserve.

Andrew Tregenza - HR Business Partner, Kew Green Hotels

Apprenticeships allow us to give people a great opportunity to develop a career with us and learn a skill or trade that will accompany them throughout their career and life. We see progression to the Level 4 qualification as key to our strategy of providing development at all stages of an employee’s career with Harrison.

Alex Taylor - Training Manager, Harrison Catering Services

We chose HIT as our training provider not only because of their specialist knowledge of the hospitality industry, but also because of their genuine passion for our brand and their understanding of our company culture. We believe that they can deliver our training to a very high standard whilst passing on our company ethos and values. Their attention to detail is second to none.

Charlotte Thoms, Talent Manager, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group

There is a shortage of skilled chefs within in our industry at present and any organisation that truly believes in the value of training and development of bright future stars will enable themselves to be in a strong position for the years ahead. Investing in smart training and development is at the heart of what we do within WSH, so it has been refreshing to work alongside HIT within our Baxterstorey Chef Academy. 

Rik Razza - Head of Chef Development, BaxterStorey


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